Saturday, May 31, 2008

Beading Ideas

Beading Ideas
Hello folks! Been over a week since I last posted unfortunately. But I have been working very hard on new inventory. Then last night a good friend of mine started working with me on getting more exposure for my site. So now that is what I am working on. I have to admit that this isn't my favorite part of the business, but it needs to be done. Hopefully by Monday I can be beading again.

How do you get your beading ideas? I get mine in all sorts of ways. Sometimes I am inspired by specific beads that I have. Sometimes it is an idea that just sort of pops into my head. The following is some beading ideas for you to explore, as well as some ways to come up with some of your own!

My very favorite type of earrings to make are called brick stitch earrings.
Brick Stitch Brick Stitch Close Up

The upper part of the earrings is the actual brick stitch part. Looking at it, it is clear to see where the name comes from. The bead layout looks like a brick wall. I love this type of earrings for so many reasons. I guess that the most sentimental reason is that when I was very young, my mom wore this type of earrings all of the time. I was always on the lookout for them to give to her as a gift. I never found a large selection of colors, and I had it in my mind early on that I should just make them for her! Then a few years ago, I started to bead. I had a very hard time finding good instructions on brick stitching, so I concentrated mostly on necklaces and bracelets. Then about a year ago, I became determined to learn. I found some instructions, and didn't give up until I had it! Now I am completely addicted to brick stitch. I love the colors, and endless possibilities of patterns. So if you are looking for a new beading idea, I highly suggest learning to brick stitch. Your possibilities are nearly unlimited. There are basic geometric patterns to do, shapes, and even highly detailed pictures that you can do. I have not delved into the highly detailed pictures yet. My favorite thing to do is the different geometric patterns. But I also have a few shapes I do. Shamrocks and hearts are my most popular. They are both of course very seasonal, but I also sell them when it is not Valentine's Day or St. Patrick's Day. They are fun to use, and very easy to customize!!

This is my heart pattern.
Heart PatternFinished Heart Earrings

I started off doing them in just red and white for Valentine's Day. But I ended up making them in lot's of different colors. Including Black and Red for our town's sport's team.

Here is the shamrock pattern.
Shamrock PatternFinished Shamrock Earrings

In this example I added a few gold accents, just because I thought it made those colors look better.

So as you can see, both patterns can be customized to fit different needs. They are fun to make, and really do seem to posses the "Wow!" factor when people see them.

Would you like to see examples of my geometrical earrings? Well just look here. I have a lot of seed and bugle beads, so I really have fun making new patterns and color combinations.

Sometimes I really have a hard time getting inspired with new beading ideas. I think it is mostly because I become so overwhelmed. I have a ton of beads, and I want to use them all! I have also expanded what I make to include drop earrings, chandelier earrings, anklets and necklaces. I suppose my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) doesn't help either. Sometimes I really need to just slow down look at the beads, see if any color combinations catch my eye. My fiance thinks I am crazy at times because I have a huge pile of bagged beads sitting on the coffee table, and I will just sit and look at them for a long time.

One good place to find beading ideas is just by watching the world around you. Watch what people have on at the mall, or on T.V. I have a hard time breaking away from some of my patterns sometimes. My solution to that is just do something completely out of the box for me. For example the other day I was watching one of those ridiculous court shows on T.V. You know, the ones that you shake your head at in public, but watch every day! A woman had a pair of chandelier earrings on. They were a nice length, but the middle dangle went all the way down to her shoulder. I had never made a pair like this, but I loved the movement of them. So this is what I came up with.
Extra Long Chandelier Earrings

These are something I would have never come up with on my own, just because I end up fixing myself into such a little box. But these sold the same day I listed them! And they have inspired me in lots of different directions. Sometimes it just takes one little thing like this for me to go on a creating binge! And it always seems to catch me by surprise.

I think that is all for beading ideas today. I have more, and I will be blogging about them. Do you have any you want to share? Let me know! And remember to check out my site. Bookmark, and check back often :D


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Lightening Can Strike Twice!

Hello folks! Two blog entries in one day :o I must be trying to set some sort of a record. I wanted to make an entry about all the things I have been doing at Simply Raevyn lately, as well as the last personal entry that I made.

My online store is going okay. I did a Buy 1 Get 1 Free sale over the weekend, and I got lot's of orders. I was doing the sale because I was supposed to get my tax refund check on Friday the 9th, but it has not yet arrived. I was counting on it to pay some bills, so I started the sale so that I could make up for some of the money. It brought in a lot of first time customers. So hopefully it will lead to future business with these people.

I had my first sale on Blujay! I am of course completely in love with Etsy, but I decided that it wouldn't hurt to also list on Blujay, since it is absolutely free. So yesterday a lady bought quite a bit of my seed bead destash. It made me happy because I really want to get rid of all of my destash, and because it marked my first Blujay sale.

I have been pretty productive all around with my jewelry business this week. I have posted a lot of new items, as well as adding anklets to my item base. I think it is time for me to get back to brick stitching though. I have had a hard time calming my mind down enough to do it, but I am trying to work it back in slowly. I got a pair done today. Now I am going to work on my site for the rest of the day. I ordered a lot of new seed beads, and they should be here in the next day or two. So my goal is to get all of the things I want to add to my site added today, and then when my new seed beads get here I will get back to brick stitching and get my inventory bumped up.

Speaking of things I have wanted to get done, I finally did my first bead patter today! I have been wanting to add some different patterns to my site. So today I opened up my Paint Shop Pro and mapped out the shamrock pattern. I am going to post it tonight. Hopefully I can get about one pattern a week done.

My fiance Paul has also built me a new form for Simply Raevyn. I told him that I want to build a newsletter mailing list, and a birthday database. So he built a great form for me. Hopefully he will add it to the site tonight. I can't wait to start using it!

Okay I guess that is about enough for today. It is almost time for my trade game on etsy :)


Me and My Craziness

Hello everyone! It is a slow Wednesday. Things have been really rough for me lately mentally. My bipolar seems to be in full swing, and making me crazy. I have been in a mania for weeks now, and it is really taking it's toll. I am tired, cranky, and incredibly moody. I hate feeling like this. When my friend Jenn calls on the phone I can't even bring myself to hold a normal conversation. I just sort of mumble until she gets mad enough to hang up. I feel bad when things like that happen, but I just can't stop! I hate being so weak minded that I cannot even make myself have a conversation with my best friend of 22 years. I got some Seroquil, so at least I am sleeping better. But they seroquil certainly isn't helping my moods. When I take it during the day it just makes me so that I don't obsess about my moodiness.

I just realized while writing that last paragraph, that I have not talked about my mental issues much in this blog. Certainly not in detail, only briefly in passing. I think I should write about it more. When I was young, writing always made me feel better. And that is really one of my purposes for this blog. So here goes.

When I was younger, I think about 21, I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD, as well as a few other things such as depression and PTSD. At first I thought it was an odd diagnosis. I did have some compulsions, but certainly nothing like what you see on movies like What About Bob. (On a side note, that is one of my all time favorite movies.) So I decided to do a little bit of looking into the disease. I ordered a book, which I now highly recommend to anyone effected by OCD. The book is called Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals: The Hidden Epidemic of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Yes I know, quite a long title. But what a wonderful book! It made me realize that this intrusive, horrible thoughts I had been having were not because I was a horrid, disgusting person. They were caused by OCD. Just realizing that had such an amazing effect on me. I guess I had never really thought much about the "Obsession" part of OCD. Movies, jokes, etc. have always dealt with the "Compulsion" part for the most part. I can't say enough about how much this book did for the way I viewed myself.

A few years later, I was told by a Psychiatrist that I was not depressed, that I in fact had Bipolar Disorder. I have to admit when I first heard that, I was very skeptical. I then told my mom of the diagnosis. My mother is an RN, and has worked on a psyche word for over a decade. Her intitial reaction was to disagree, but within seconds she was agreeing with the diagnosis. It was interesting to watch her reaction, because it sort of looked like things made sense to her all of a sudden. My lifetime of starting enormous projects and never finishing, my weird relationships with men, my spending habits, and so much more. So, I decided to look into Bipolar Disorder. Once again, much the same way as it did when I read about OCD, things started to make sense. My bipolar diagnosis has recently been further confirmed, as well as narrowed down to Bipolar I.

As I have gotten older, my symptoms have actually worsened. I am to the point now where it is difficult for me to even leave the house. I can leave, although it is usually only with my fiance. I guess I look at him as my safety person. Driving used to be a huge part of my life. I loved to drive, it gave me such a sense of freedom. Now the thought of driving terrifies me. I cannot stand being in crowds, it makes me physically sick, and sometimes makes me feel as if I will pass out. I have a lot of panic attacks. Things might be a little bit different if I could afford all of the meds I need, and also if I could afford to get the therapy I need. I'm not sure really.

Anyway, I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss my diagnoses. They are a huge part of my personality, and they effect me and the people in my life a lot. I used to use writing to express myself more, and it helped me feel better. I also used to use the internet to reach out to get help for things like this. I guess I am taking this opportunity to do both things. Thank you for listening.